NDT inspection

NDT Inspection Technology: What’s New and Leading-Edge in 2020

NDT inspection technology, including training and tools, is continuously evolving.

With changes in government regulations, innovations in technology and the ever-changing needs of industries requiring surface and subsurface analysis, non-destructive testing continues to evolve to ensure the safety, productivity, and integrity of materials, products, and structures.

Interested in knowing more about what’s new and leading-edge in non-destructive testing (NDT)? This article will cover:

Why NDT is important
The advantages of NDT
What’s new in NDT training
What’s new in NDT technology
Pipeline inspection improvements

Why NDT is important

Non-destructive testing is vital for the timely detection of faults in products, materials, and equipment. If left undetected, defects and flaws can result in expensive and premature repairs or replacements. Unplanned shutdowns and failures can also result and have devastating health, safety, and economic impacts.

For pipelines, oil and gas, mining, lifting and industrial construction equipment, and tubing, NDT functions as quality assurance, ensuring the reliability and expected lifetime of equipment and materials is upheld.

Regular testing allows engineers to determine the current lifecycle stage of an asset and to proactively plan maintenance, repairs, or replacements. Regular inspections also ensure that catastrophic failures of your business/operational assets do not occur, potentially resulting in lengthy and costly downtime. Besides, routine testing ensures adherence to government regulations and standards, as well as the health and safety of your workforce and the environment.

Overall, NDT:

  • Prevents accidents
  • Reduces repair and replacement costs
  • Improves reliability of assets
  • Ensures adherence to regulations and policies


What are the advantages of NDT?

Non-destructive testing is ideal because it allows for the inspection of equipment, materials, and structures without the need to worry about downtime or damage.

NDT can save time and money by identifying problems early – before expensive repairs or replacements are needed.

What’s new in non-destructive testing

Advancements in technology and changes to government regulations and policies are continuously driving innovation in non-destructive testing. These changes affect all aspects of NDT, including training, inspection, and technology. The result – new and innovative methods and strategies.

NDT has come a long way since its origins. Simple VT has now evolved with the digital world, resulting in digital outputs, including 3D imaging and cloud connectivity that allows for remote testing and analysis.

NDT Training

NDT inspection technology and its applications are continuously improving and evolving. Inspection technology, equipment, and the services offered by inspection providers are ever-changing, including advancements in training and techniques.

Buffalo Inspection Services, for instance, recently implemented a Personal Certification in Non-Destructive Testing (PCN) course using Gekko and Mantis technology. This training is revolutionary, making Buffalo the first NDT company in North America to host PCN Certification on Gekko PAUT technology and the only non-union NDT inspection services provider in Western Canada with qualified PCN technicians.

NDT Inspection Technology

Advancements in technology drive change in non-destructive testing. As a result, hardware and software enhancements are continuously developed to improve testing and analysis.

Below are some of the most recent advancements that have been made in NDT technology:

The GEKKO

Buffalo NDT Inspectors uses the M2M Gekko for PAUT inspections.

The M2M Gekko is one of the most advanced and reliable options for Total Focusing Method (TFM) testing. The only unit that supports a 3-axis encoder for TFM, the Gekko is also the first system able to produce matrix arrays and perform TFM in real-time.

As the most versatile and advanced PAUT field unit, the Gekko can cover a wide range of inspections, and, recently, a new generation of the Gekko was released, with various ground-breaking advancements introduced.

Improvements to the new generation of the Gekko include:

  • Hardware – increased speed and channel sensitivity, longer battery life (up to 6 hours), improved touchscreen functionality (e.g. touchscreen can be used with gloves)
  • Data management – new USB 3.0 connector for rapid file transfer and wireless data or screen sharing, IP68 LEMO encoder connector for compatibility with most scanners
  • Software – the release of new Capture 3.1 software

Capture 3.1 software

The release of Capture 3.1 has brought many improvements to ergonomy, analysis, and TFM tools and options. The new advanced analysis tools offered by Capture 3.1 improve productivity and increase the quality of research and reporting, resulting in more efficient and reliable testing.

The new tools added to Capture 3.1 include:

  • Auto-sizing – for a quick analysis of whether an indication is critical
  • C-scan stitching – for inspections that require more than one file
  • Full 3D exporting
  • Improved indicators

TFM

The Total Focusing Method has come a long way since its inception. In 2013, portable TMF revolutionized non-destructive testing. Since then, TMF has seen significant changes to scan speed, the number of TFM options available on the market, and to code. These advancements have allowed TMF to remain one of the best and most reliable techniques for NDT.

  • TMF options on the market
    2013 – 1 TFM option
    2020 – more than 10 TFM options
  • Scan speed
    2013 – ¼ inch per second
    2020 – more than 4 inches per second
  • Code
    2013 – No TFM code
    2020 – Code-compliant

Along with the recent release of Capture 3.1 software, a new TFM method called Plane Wave Imaging (PWI) has also been introduced.

Plane Wave Imaging

PWI, introduced by Eddyfi Technologies, is a new data acquisition technique for TFM. This technique is conducted by first firing all the elements of the array concurrently on several different angles, with elementary signals received on all of the elements. After this initial process, a typical TFM is performed. The final result is a matrix containing M x N (number of angles x number of elements) elementary A-scans.

PWI - Plane Wave Imaging demonstration for NDT Inspections

The advantages of this new method include:

  • Improved productivity – PWI is able to maintain the spatial resolution offered by other TFM methods (e.g. FMC) while increasing scanning speed.
  • Increased sensitivity – depending on the number of angles used, PWI can offer an increase in sensitivity, resulting in the detection of smaller indications.


Pipeline inspection improvements

These new and leading-edge advancements in NDT allow for regular, comprehensive, accurate, and economical testing. The efficient and effective testing provided by a combination of this state-of-the-art technology ensures the safety and utility of large pipelines like the Transmountain.

Combining PAUT / TOFD and conventional UT with advancements like TFM, the Gekko is particularly useful for pipeline inspection in Alberta.

Radiography (x-ray inspection) and UT are commonly used; however, Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT) offers several advantages for pipeline inspection. These advantages include NO:

  • Radiation
  • Risk
  • Additional licensing necessary

With the ability to detect manufacturing flaws, corrosion, cracking, erosion, parent metal flaws, and more in pipelines, all while in-service, regular non-destructive testing ensures cost efficiency, environmental and public safety, and reliable, long-term performance.

Want to discuss NDT pipeline inspection for your company? Contact Buffalo today.

3D images using the appropriate software

What is Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing

With PAUT, the technician actually gets images of the scanned areas in A, B, C, and D forms, which then can be generated into 3D images using the appropriate software.

What if ultrasonic results were presented in picture form instead of a written report? What if 3D images of welds were available for a welder to review at any time? What if all this data could be kept in digital form? And what if your confidence for the probability of detection (POD) soared from 50 percent to over 90 percent?

These are the questions that Andrew Crawford, TQMS manager for Buffalo Inspection Services in Edmonton, posed at his presentation during this year’s CanWeld event as he introduced the audience to the latest in phased array technology.

Non-destructive testing (NDT) has been an essential component for the production of quality parts in the fabricating and welding sector for decades. For general methods of testing, including eddy current (ET), magnetic particle (MT), liquid penetrant (PT), radiographic (RT), ultrasonic (UT), and visual testing (VT), the physics behind them hasn’t changed significantly since their inception into the market. However, NDT has become more advanced through innovation and technology trends. The hardware for these methods will become more affordable, but it is the software that will determine functionality.

New ways to collect and interpret data will in time push methods to their limits, eventually phasing them out to make way for advanced methods. Crawford used the example of how shear wave single crystal technology, which has been around since the 1950s and still being certified in Canada, is slowly being phased out by more advanced technology like phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT).

PAUT

PAUT

PAUT is a newer method of NDT that became commercially available in the 1990s in a portable form, after the release of Windows 3.1, and evolved from the traditional UT method of single-crystal technology combined with software and computing power to allow multiple crystals to work together to form focal laws.

With traditional manual UT, a technician manipulates the probe around a weld to complete the scan. Then, using his body of knowledge and pattern recognition skills concurrently with the scanning activity, he interprets the scan.

“The probability of detection for manual UT is around 50 percent,” said Crawford. “Moving into PAUT, the probability of detection dramatically increases to well above 80 percent. Using the total focusing methods (TFM), it’s approaching 95 percent.”

With PAUT, the technician actually gets images of the scanned areas in A, B, C, and D forms, which then can be generated into 3D images using the appropriate software. The different image forms provide a comprehensive perspective in 2D versus one single A-scan electronic trace as has been traditionally provided.

The UT technician can now see a picture of what the beam is seeing. This technology still requires some interpretation, analysis, and human intervention. Having a strong understanding of the physics, equipment operation, and welding details will help technicians interpret any anomalies indicated.

“With PAUT, we are still using piezoelectric transducers, but with the current algorithms we can develop all manner of focal laws and applications,” said Crawford. “The end result of all of these improvements is the easier analysis and less interpretation of A-scan patterns, better accuracy, resolution, and, of course, imagery.”

PAUT technology scans

Advancements in PAUT technology have resulted in easier analysis and less interpretation of A-scan patterns, better accuracy, resolution, and 3D imagery.

Remembering that ultrasonic inspection is stochastic in nature, the more data we have, the more accuracy we can determine.

There are various methods of data acquisition, including total focusing method (TFM), matrix arrays, sectoral scanning, electronic scanning, and multi-salvo techniques. Full matrix capture (FMC) and TFM, the most comprehensive techniques, did not become a portable option until 2014 when computing power became adequate. Prior, it was an offline function only.

“The technology has evolved to allow for high-temperature in-service inspection,” said Crawford. “The future, however, is in the software. Hardware will become standardized, but the software and user interface elements will be the core advancements going forward. The current expansion of PAUT, TOFD, and FMC/TFM will inevitably result in the further evolution of these technologies, resulting in benefits in resolution and accuracy, along with applications.”

FMC/TFM is currently the highest level of commercially available phased array technology. This method offers inherently higher resolution, accommodates mode conversions, and gives high-resolution imagery of indications and profile morphology.

Weld Inspection

PAUT is especially suited for weld inspection. The technician can simply put the weld profile in the program along with dimensional offset info, and once it’s scanned, it will show the exact location of an indication, which from a welding perspective tells the welding engineer where problems are occurring.

“If it’s a fracture mechanics-based acceptance criteria, this will have higher accuracy and allow the welder to understand where they are making mistakes,” said Crawford. “From an engineering perspective, it provides a lot more information to inform future designs and make smarter decisions on whether defects will cause problems or not.”

Electronic scanning is primarily used for scanning geometric surfaces on weld profiles or at fixed depths. This method deploys all of the available beams to concurrently hit a geometric profile or a portion of that profile at a specific angle or position if there are areas of concern. With PAUT, the technician has the flexibility to use from four to 64 elements; these numbers could potentially grow in the future, depending on the need.

“From a simple weld inspection standpoint, our obligations are to do a full geometric and volumetric inspection; anything less is considered an incomplete inspection,” said Crawford.

Beyond welding, PAUT is also being used for corrosion assessment as well as testing on complex geometries, flange face corrosion, bolts, pulsation dampers, and anything with a configuration that is not traditional or uniform. The technician performs a blanket scan and the software is able to stitch it all together to end up with an appropriate view, which when combined within the software, essentially provides a 3D image.

PAUT, particularly for weld inspection and corrosion detection, offers a high probability of detection that can discriminate defects versus geometric ghosting. Having all the data and images also provides an auditable trail.

Bolt inspection.

Bolt inspection.

Corrosion Morphology

“With the latest technology, FMC/TFM, the technician can fire 64 elements independently and establish tens of thousands of points/pixels in a defined area and interrogate every one by firing each crystal and the receiving responses on all the others,” explained Crawford. “It builds a massive database of responses. Once geometries are put in as part of the TFM, it can determine what each point represents. Once a scan is done, technicians can use many different configurations to gain different insights because the data has already been accumulated in the area of interest. The data can be used to configure any scan or transferred digitally to anywhere it is needed.”

Data files for TFM are well into the gigabyte realm as opposed to a standard PAUT scan, which is in the hundreds of megabytes range. Crawford noted that industry has been using this technology since 2015, but it has only just made the ASME codes this year.

Advanced Technology

Crawford sees the next wave of PAUT technology being more automated. Historically, when a weld was inspected with PAUT, technicians would review the weld scan, evaluate areas of concern, and report it. This usually was done over an extended period of time or a night shift. But automation and integration allow for all these tasks to be done in an accelerated manner to increase production, which will help improve productivity, quality, and safety.

“What we are aspiring to with PAUT is digital twinning,” said Crawford. “We would put a technician in the field who doesn’t necessarily need to have the advanced technical skills but rather applies an approved and tested application designed by a level 3 and implements it with their operability skill set. In the shop or office, another technician could monitor his or her activities and implementation by a video that would be tied through a connected device. So you could see what the on-site technician is seeing, and if there are any issues, you can relay that back to them. This allows it to be done anywhere in the world. We believe digital twinning will continue to be adopted for cost and productivity reasons.

Non-destructive testing specialist

How to Become a Non-Destructive Testing Specialist in Edmonton

If you like challenging situations that require attention to detail and problem-solving, you’re a prime candidate for a non-destructive testing specialist. Following is how to become a non-distributive testing specialist position in Edmonton.

 

General requirements

 

Most positions need as a minimum a high school diploma or GED equivalent, a college education in Material science or Welding will reduce the necessary time required to certify yourself in NDT and give you the key materials knowledge necessary for advancement.
You can go from a level 1 technician to a Level 3 technician and up to a MSc in NDT or anywhere in between, depending on experience and education.

 

Skills required

 

As a non-destructive testing specialist, you need an understanding of materials, corrosion and operating equipment to recognize the nature of and potential for problems. A good technician must be able to identify the type of problems that may already be occurring.
Testing different materials in different situations requires training and experience to see specific types of defects and their extent. You must be able to detect and accurately size indications with the potential for harm.
As with almost any position, you must be able to take direction both verbally and in writing and apply reasoning to them. A non-destructive testing specialist uses his or her skills to offer clear answers to questions.

Good vision and the ability to differentiate between colors, including shade and brightness are key. You must also be in good physical condition; specialized rope access NDT technicians have advanced mountain climbing training. Dexterity is important to ensure consistent inspection application with the various technologies. The ability to think quickly with strong reasoning skills are key for all non-destructive testing specialists.

 

Education levels

 

Over half of all non-destructive testing specialists generally have a high school diploma. Almost 30% have an associate degree, while only 7% have a bachelor’s degree.

All non-destructive testing specialists need certification from an institutional body such as:

  • CGSB Canada’s National Non-Destructive Testing Certification Body.
  • Personal Certification Network (PCN) and The Certification scheme for Welding inspection Personnel (CSWIP)
  • ASNT American Society of NDT

This ensures you can work anywhere and cover the greatest amount of client needs.

You can get certain certifications from these bodies in multiple disciplines:

  • Radiography
  • Ultrasonics (Phased Array, Time of Flight Diffraction, Guided wave etc.…)
  • Magnetic Particle Inspection
  • Dye Penetrant Inspection
  • Eddy Current Inspection

The CGSB would be your first point of contact and others could be explored and pursued from there. The CGSB will provide you with an examination guide to study for the written examinations. You must know and understand the applicable acts, regulations, standards, and safety codes.

Once you are certified, you must keep your certification current. This means renewing and re-certifying yourself every 5 years before the expiration date to keep up with changes to technology and code.

 

Conclusion

 

A career as a non-destructive testing specialist is both rewarding and essential to the overall safety of equipment and the public at large. You can find job openings by searching the internet, where you can also find more information about employers looking for technicians.

If you have the skills listed above and are willing to become certified, a non-destructive testing specialist may just be the perfect job for you. You can find everything you need for a career as a specialist on the CGSB website.

Training institutions such as NAIT and SAIT offer dedicated training as well.

TFM/PAUT Inspection

Announcing: TFM/PAUT Inspection for On-Stream Monitoring

Industry experience has shown that most companies are only able to inspect approximately 3-5% of their equipment a year. When the cost of inspection weighted against the cost of down time is incidental, cost effective approaches to inspection can be undertaken. Expensive emergency outages, the costly impact of spills on a company’s environmental reputation, or a very serious process safety event with potentially catastrophic endings can be avoided. One common theme heard is “we don’t know how to monitor {insert asset here} so we just wait until it washes out or fails”. Corrective Based Maintenance strategies like this can now be advanced to Condition Based with Buffalo’s new technology.

Through our industry experience, we have been able to assist clients in determining key locations for inspection, to enable them to pursue an online condition based assessment.

Buffalo Inspection has been utilizing cutting edge equipment, combined with best in class PCN PAUT training, to provide a complete inspection package to our clients. This isn’t a standard data collection inspection. We are in this to ensure not only the integrity of the asset, but to save our clients time, money, and headaches. Through our

industry experience, we have been able to assist clients in determining key locations for inspection, to enable them to pursue an online condition based assessment.

TFM/PAUT Inspection

We have developed inspection methods for specific client requirements such as Choke Valves, Flange Face Corrosion, Internal Current Transfer Corrosion, HDPE inspections, and an ever increasing variety of previously uninspectable situations. Conventional ultrasonic methods experience limitations that modern phased array technologies have been able to overcome. Permanent, Auditable data, has established itself as a necessity for integrity management.

Working with our clients, has allowed us to alleviate issues that hadn’t been solved for them in the past. It has also allowed clients to increase the integrity of their assets. Code minimums are exactly that, minimums, but what if it was faster, better, and cheaper, to get more? That is exactly what we at Buffalo Inspection Services are striving to provide.

NDT Certification

NDT Certification Differences

Institutional certifications and recommended practice certifications. What’s the difference?

Supplying clients with certificated technicians is essential in our industry; unfortunately, not all contractors provide the expected quality of technician. The result is that the client wants evidence that the technicians are properly qualified.
In many cases the technician holds the responsibility of passing a judgement on the acceptance or rejection of the inspected component. It is the operator through whom we depend to accurately evaluate defects and indications; if the operator is not properly knowledgeable, trained and experienced they might totally misjudge the results of NDT and reject components which are sound and capable of performing in the service. On the other hand, they might send the faulty components into service which may become a source of premature failure. In both cases the consequences are going to be adverse. In the first case the organization is going to suffer undue production losses while in the second the premature failure may lead to even bigger losses. Of no less importance is the integrity of the operator in view of his ability to provide accurate reports.
A central system of certification (per ISO 9712 and EN473) such as CGSB, PCN, CSWIP and ACCP has technicians study the relevant subject material, undertake the necessary experience and training requirements and then go to an authorized examination provider to take an independently set and invigilated examination. When they pass their exam, they are awarded a certificate of competency in that respective NDT Discipline. This can then be used by their employer or a potential employer anywhere within its jurisdictional or accepted limits. At Buffalo Inspection Services, we have chosen to support our clients and technicians with certifications that are recognized broadly as thee standard. We see this as a competitive advantage and a sustainable quality standard for our clients.
The employer still has a level of responsibility of ensuring the capability of the technician in applying their qualification (Duty of Care) to the specific work process, but this is relatively easy task compared to the qualification process. However, When the technician asserts an opinion on an inspection with an institutional certification their opinion has increased “Value at law” due to their duty of care obligations.

In the ASME system, the ASNT Recommended Practice SNT-TC-1A is the dominant certification program, it is not an institutional program but an employer-based form of certification. SNT-TC-1A is a recommended practice and not a standard, which gives the employer a certain amount of flexibility concerning the necessary requirements needed for an NDT technician pertaining to the specific NDT applied. A written practice allows discretion in the practical nature of examination, which is for all intent and purpose a positive element. However, the negative aspects of discretion give way to the temptation to provide inadequate structure and correctness to the certification process along with the relative capacity to ‘rubber stamp’ certification. Additionally, the SNT-TC-1A program has no portability for the technician and as such has no central database for verification. This has been an ongoing challenge and complaint from NDT customers for years when it comes to the overall competency of a technician. In addition to this challenge is that the technician’s opinion is inherently linked to the NDT service provider who is linked by code to the manufacturer or fabricator. Which means that a technician’s opinion has limited or no Value at Law (per code) by comparison to the employer or fabricator. Buffalo does provide our technicians with the added practical in-house oversight of an SNT exam however, we are moving towards wanting as a minimum for our technicians to have CGSB, PCN,CSWIP and ACCP as table stakes for competency.
As production demands and reliability increase, the opinion of an NDT technician has become more and more important as far as identifying and evaluating defects and indications correctly and accurately.

I remember in the Middle East years ago, when technicians came from all over the world and there was not a clear understanding of consistency in certification; for this reason and others similar, the ‘performance demonstration’ was established.
In the interim we have had API establish performance evaluation tests and more recently ASNT’s central certification program ACCP and now we have ASME coming up with their own contribution in the form of ANDE “The ASME Nondestructive examination” program. The instigator of all these performance demonstrations to identify technicians capable of finding cracking in SS welds was the Nuclear Industry.
Now, with the plethora of certification programs out there we have what appears to be a never-ending requirement for training and all its incumbent expenses. Whether this creates better technicians or not remains to be seen, but, it sure creates a scarcity of skilled personnel.
Industry needs to agree on a standard of certification that ensures competency and accuracy in the delivery of the service. CGSB, PCN, CSWIP and ACCP are the pillars of internationally recognized central certification programs and are increasingly essential for hiring and advancement at Buffalo Inspection Services, These programs should be a minimum pre-requisite to all NDT undertaken in our country.

Improvement-Background

Continuous Improvement and the NDT market

Believe it or not, we are now 18 years into the 21st century, no flying cars quite yet but look closer to earth and the change that is occurring may spin your head. Our industry, NDT – used to be a simple RT, UT, MT, PT, ET, VT type scenario; yet, in the last decade we have seen the unabated rise of Digital versions of these disciplines with 3D imaging, digitized outputs and Cloud connectivity that allows a person in Alberta to monitor, in real-time, an inspection in Argentina; whether it be a digital film, a phased array scan or a Tangential Eddy Current scan, all can be done remotely and at the speed of light.
Our market can change on a dime depending on commodity prices, competitiveness or regulatory needs. Technological changes to the status quo are being thrust upon us whether we like it or not.

How do we keep ahead of the game and stay in the market? As a company, Buffalo Inspection Services are alert to change and ahead of the herd in identifying trends and technologies; a bigger part of the picture is certification and competencies. Some of which we cover with our institutional and company accreditation programs but increasingly with dedicated OEM training.
As front-line participants in this industry, it is incumbent upon us as technicians to keep up to date, adapt to changes as quickly as possible through continuous education and continuous improvement, and expand our body of knowledge in all disciplines. This then allows us to move into markets and sectors seamlessly and build out our customer base.

Buffalo TrainingIf you aren’t a member of an institutional body such as CINDE, ASNT, BINDT then you should join. These institutions publish monthly and quarterly journals packed with information on the latest in technology and training. It can also count for credit towards your certification renewals.
Plan to educate yourself every year with courses, certifications or conference attendance (its tax deductible), take the time to learn something new as often as possible to increase your skill sets and employability. Jobs done well and with a high level of quality and competency are ours and your best advertisement.

 

Buffalo is very well aware of the pace of change and we endeavor to support our technicians with training, practical support and leading technology to ensure they are as productive as possible. We encourage our team to be the best by rewarding the best technicians in technical and academic achievement annually. Come join the herd, your efforts for Life Long Learning and achievement with clients will not go unnoticed.

 

By: Andrew Crawford, TQMS Manager and Resident SME
Larry Kaumeyer, CEO

Quality Control

Buffalo Inspection Announces ISO 9001:2015 Compliance

Buffalo Inspection Services recognizes that the disciplines of Quality, Health and Safety and Environmental Management are an integral part of its management function. The Organization views these as a primary responsibility and to be the key to our overall vision, the current business plan and is consistent with good business in adopting appropriate Quality standards. Our commitment to Quality will form the basis for the “Quality Objectives” of Buffalo Inspection.  It is intended that BIS will adhere to the requirements of ISO 26000 – Social Responsibility, in parallel with the commitment to our QMS.

The Organization Quality Policy calls for continuous improvement in its Quality Management activities and business will be conducted according to the following principles:

We will:

  • Comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
  • Follow a concept of continuous improvement and make best use of our management resources in all Quality matters.
  • Communicate our Quality objectives, and our performance against these objectives, throughout the Organization and to interested parties.
  • Take due care to ensure that activities are safe for employees, associates, vendors and others who come into contact with our work
  • Work closely with our customers and vendors to establish the highest Quality standards.
  • Adopt a forward-looking view on future business decisions, which may have Quality impacts.
  • Train our staff in the needs and responsibilities of Quality Management.
  • Uphold our Quality expectations and standards by auditing and monitoring our team to ensure we are executing consistent with the quality understandings in place within Buffalo.

It is the aim of Buffalo Inspection Services that, with the total involvement and understanding of all staff, and through the implementation of the documented ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System, we will exceed the expectations of our customers.

Buffalo Inspection Services Inc. strongly supports and is committed to a Quality Assurance Program that is accurate, effective and practical.   Management is committed in providing support and the necessary resources to realize the effectiveness and success of the QA Management System.  We are committed in designing, monitoring and improving the quality control process and associated programs to ensure that our Client is satisfied and that all work is completed safely, professionally, and accurately.

For more information on our commitment, contact our team today.

Red Deer

Buffalo Expands Operations with Addition of Red Deer Office & Inspection Crews

Here We Grow Again!

We are pleased to announce the addition of Dustin Strabel to Buffalo Inspection Services as our corporate representative for Red Deer and area. Dustin brings many years of NDT experience to Buffalo and will be responsible for building our presence and adding additional resources to support the area. For all of your NDT needs please contact Dustin.

Buffalo Inspection Services is looking for additions to our corporate and contractor teams across Western Canada.

Laptop

Buffalo Has First Paper Presented at CINDE Conference

Executive Summary

This paper documents the development of an alternative ultrasonic testing (UT) technique for examination of structural welds as per CSA W59.

The purpose of developing a new technique is to bring CSA W59 into the 21st century, allowing for modern techniques, equipment, and to provide a pathway for future development not permitted by the current 1960’s-era practices. The existing techniques were part of the 1969 edition of AWS D1.0. They were not developed from scientific principles or empirical evidence, yet have remained the “line in the sand” for structural UT in North America for nearly 50 years. Since then, exponential changes have taken place in technology and in the general UT world, yet Canadian and U.S codes have failed to keep pace. This has resulted in awkward techniques that many technicians misunderstand and circumvent. Ultimately, these outdated techniques fail to serve the purposes of repeatable and accurate inspections they propose to facilitate.

The existing fixed attenuation, or “FA” technique is shown to be based on assumptions of sound attenuation and inspection angles which do not hold up under scientific scrutiny. There is a philosophy of “one probe to rule them all” and angle-specific procedure tables which were installed to achieve consistent inspection results. However, the practices involved in limiting one’s options does not produce the consistencies intended. A new technique is presented which is similar to those used elsewhere in the UT industry. This is written as a true alternative to the existing technique, offering adapted acceptance criteria that retain the existing quality levels. Mathematical models and experimental data are presented which were used to generate the new criteria. Equivalence is also demonstrated through modeling. Variation in results is also significantly reduced.

The proposed alternative technique is under public review for inclusion in CSA W59-2018. The techniques developed in 1969 have served industry well for a very long time, but change is inevitable. To progress in a world of rapidly advancing technologies, it is important to adopt less regressive, more forward-thinking practices that can adapt and suit the needs of today.

Download the entire paper by clicking the image below:

Sa-W59 Ultrasound Inspection

Sonar Inspection Estevan

Buffalo Inspection Services Inc. acquires Sonar Inspection Ltd. in Estevan, Saskatchewan

EDMONTON, Alberta, June 11, 2015 – Canada’s largest non-union Non-Destructive Examination (NDE) services provider, Buffalo Inspection Services (2005) Inc. (Buffalo Inspection Services), has acquired Sonar Inspection Ltd. (Sonar), a well-established NDE company in southern Saskatchewan, to continue its expansion into under-served locations. The deal is effective June 1, 2015.

Sonar’s primary operation is strategically located in Estevan, Saskatchewan, a growth market for oil and gas, pipeline and mining development and expansion. The acquisition provides Buffalo Inspection Services with the capability of increasing its presence in Southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba, working in partnership with an experienced and capable team.

“Buffalo Inspection Services has had a presence in Saskatoon for many years, but we saw this acquisition as an opportunity to expand our footprint to southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and expand Sonar’s existing operation to include radiography and mainline crawler NDE disciplines,” says the Chief Executive Officer of Buffalo Inspection Services. “We are excited about working with Sonar. They have a strong reputation in the surface and integrity disciplines, and also have exceptional relationships with clients across a broad range of industries. We strongly believe that Sonar’s team will be an ideal platform for growth in the region.”

Sonar’s operations will now operate under the Buffalo Inspection Services brand, and the company has established its Saskatchewan base of operations in a shop in Estevan.

Taylor Gardiner and Wayne Naka, the owners of Sonar, will lead the Saskatchewan and Manitoba operations for Buffalo Inspection Services.

About Buffalo Inspection Services

Buffalo Inspection Services is the largest non-union NDE company in Canada. Headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Buffalo has been providing NDE services primarily to the oil and gas industry across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia for the last 39 years. The company offers a complete suite of NDT services including Radiography, Mainline Gamma Crawler, Magnetic Particle, Liquid Penetrant Examination, Visual Inspection, Phased Array, Ultrasonics, Ferrite Testing, Positive Material Identification, Hardness Testing, Tubing Inspection and Time of Flight Diffraction. The acquisition brings together the teams of Buffalo Inspection and Sonar to create a 250-strong workforce comprising skilled and certified professionals.